The Tragedy of Hamlet

April 24 – 29, 2001, May 1 – 6, 2001

Premiere New York Premiere
Production Language English
Country of Origin France
Description Hamlet, as the old lady famously said, is full of quotations, and familiarity can lull. Peter Brook's adaptation, The Tragedy of Hamlet, is surprising and demanding, a concentration he calls it, in which he has not changed a word but has radically cut and shifted lines and reduced the playing time to just over half the usual four-plus hours. His reading of the tragedy is as scrupulous as it is startling, not reductive but enriching and intensely moving. His remarkably clear but not uncontested reading of the text was reached during intense rehearsals in which sections of text and even characters vanished. Natasha Parry, Brook's wife, who plays Gertrude, says, "It's not like some directors who are heavily into the details from the beginning. For him it's like big overall splashes of color, and then it gradually gets pinpointed. By the time we had our first public rehearsals everything was still being worked on. It's like a permanent trying things out, trying things out."
Identifier 2001s.00721
VenueBAM Strong (Majestic, BAM Majestic, BAM Harvey Theater, The Rudin Family Gallery)
artistic directorMarie-Hélène Estienne
author/playwrightWilliam Shakespeare
costume designerChloé Obolensky
directorPeter Brook
lighting designerPhilippe Vialatte
musical directorToshi Tsuchitori
set designer/decorChloé Obolensky